Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Yu Rong Guang, Emil Chau
Jackie Chan’s “Supercop 2” certainly ranks as one of the movies with the most titles. Being also known as “Police Story 3: Part 2”, “Police Story 4”, “Police Story V”, “Police Story S”, “Once A Cop” and under its original name “Chao ji ji hua”, director Stanley Tong’s 1993 action comedy gives plenty of reason for confusion. Fortunately it is limited to the title, as the film itself, is a racy and funny action film carrying the all the great trademarks that make Jackie Chan’s films so enjoyable.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment presents the movie in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD in a transfer that is not enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The transfer itself is rather clean, although quite a bit of grain is evident throughout the movie. The transfer boasts a perfect black level with deep solid shadows, and good highlights which give the picture the entire range of contrast to work from. Color reproduction is also beautiful with strong hues that never appear washed out or noisy. The compression on this disc is quite good, although the graininess of the film print introduces slight pixelation artifacts in the image, which is also due to a rather low bitrate that was used for the film’s compression. Since there is still room on the disc, it is somewhat surprising that it was not used to increase the bitrate of this presentation.
“Supercop 2” features a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack in English language and English subtitles. Sadly, Buena Vista has not been adding the original Chinese language track to this release, which I personally consider a major drawback of this release. The English soundtrack sounds poorly integrated with its dubbed dialogues, often creating an ambiance that does not match that of the sound effects or the environment. Surround usage is quite good with a natural sounding bass extension.
As it is the case with many Hong Kong films that have been reworked for domestic release, “Supercop 2” has been cut quite extensively. Almost 8 minutes seem to be missing when compared to the original Chinese cut of the movie, bringing it down to a 94 minute running length. While this release may be appealing to American audiences, aficionados of Hong Kong Cinema will certainly prefer an import disc that contains the movie’s original cut and subtitled language tracks.